A Jolly Good Show – Episode 57

KATE hurried out, and he was waiting for her, standing on the steps of the hotel. From inside came the sound of music. He kissed her and they stepped together into the ballroom. It was decked with streamers, holly, ivy, balloons and, at one end of the room, there was a tall, sparkling Christmas tree behind the orchestra on a raised dais.

There were tables around the dance floor and Michael and Kate were shown to a table for two. A bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice was waiting.

“Champagne, Kate?”

“How lovely. Yes, please.”

The waiter poured and they clinked glasses.

“Happy Christmas,” Michael said. “To us.”

Kate took a sip.

“Delicious. Michael, you must be doing very well to afford this. Your trip to Britain, the hotels, champagne.”

He laughed.

“To be honest, I’m only just starting up, but my parents left me pretty comfortable. I was an only child so I got everything.”

“Was your father a lawyer?”

“No, not at all. In fact, he was very musical.”

She clapped her hands.

“So was mine. He was a music teacher. We have something in common.”

“Oh, I think we have a lot in common. Shall we dance?”

They danced, sipped champagne and chatted, and during the last waltz he held her close and suddenly whisked her into an alcove where there was a small settee. They sat as the orchestra played “Always”.

He kissed her.

“Kate, I love you. Do you think you can love me?”

“Yes, Michael. Oh, yes.” And she was quite sure that she had found love at last.

* * * *

SO I’m finally going to meet this young man of yours,” Delia said.

“Oh, yes.” Kate felt quite nervous. It was almost like introducing her young man to her mother. She was so anxious for Delia’s approval, not that she had any doubt that she would like him.

She couldn’t keep it to herself any longer.

“Delia, last night he told me he loved me.” Her eyes were shining.

Delia took her hands in hers.

“And do you love him?”

“Oh, yes. Yes, I do.”

“Well, I’m sure I will like him tremendously. Even Nesbo has said he wants to have a look at your admirer.”

“My admirer!” Kate laughed.

“He’s rather old fashioned. But you know he thinks the world of you. Not that he’d tell you, of course.”

When the evening performance was over, Kate quickly changed and went to the front of house. Michael was standing in the foyer. He looked very smart and on edge. She ran to him and took his hand.

“Come along. I want you to meet Nesbo and Delia.”

He squeezed her hand.

“Yes, I do want to meet her. Very much. I just didn’t think I’d be quite as nervous as this.”

Kate led him backstage and to Delia’s dressing-room.

“This is it,” she said.

They went in. Nesbo and Delia were standing talking. They turned round. Nesbo was the nearer.

“Nesbo,” Kate said. “This is Michael. My admirer.” She laughed.

Nesbo took Michael’s hand in his.

“I’m very pleased to meet you. From Canada, I believe. I met many fine Canadians during the war.”

“I’m pleased to meet you. You have a terrific act,” Michael said.

Kate took Michael’s arm.

“And this,” she said, “is Delia Desmond.”

Michael took Delia’s offered hand. She was smiling at him.

“Miss Desmond, I’ve seen you many times.” He still held her hand.

Delia looked at him closely.

“You are the young man

who . . .”

“Miss Desmond,” he said, “I’m Michael. Michael Cavendish.”

Delia’s face froze.

“Michael Cavendish?”

“Yes.” He still held her hand. “I believe I am your son.”


Used to make posts more anonymous, eg a criminal case where you don’t want to expose the actual journalist.